UltimateDisney.com's Top 30 Live Action Disney Movies Countdown
16. The Princess Diaries (2001)
The first time i saw The Princess Diaries was in 2001 when it was released in theaters. I had seen the trailer, and being a fan of Julie Andrews I just had to see it. It was even better than I expected. The rags-to-riches story is not very original, but in the end it is what you do with it that counts. The royal princess lesson scenes in the movie are hilarious. Anne Hathaway (who plays Princess Mia) is great in contrast to Julie's Queen Renaldi. All of the supporting castmembers do an excellent job for that matter. Erik (Brink!) Von Detten plays a good opportunist who wants to take advantage of Princess Mia. So does Mandy Moore, who also shamelesly wants to ride along with Mia's newly-acquired fame and fortune.

The relationship between Mia and her mother Helen (played by Caroline Goodall, also known from Hook and Schindler's list) is also very worked out within the story. In addition, we have Hector Elizondo (as chaufeur/bodyguard) and Heather Matarazzo & Robert Schwartzman (as Mia's real friends). This is, in the scheme of things, still a pretty new movie since this list spans about 60 years of disney films. Still I believe this film will stand the test of time. But most important of all, it is just 115 minutes of sheer fun !!

-Marc (Brink!)

The Princess Diaries is one of the fluffiest (if not *the* fluffiest) live action productions from Disney. Yet it works. The humor in the film is gentle and doesn't rely heavily on huge laugh-out-loud moments. The basic ugly duckling-turned swan story has been done to death, and the movie knows this, therefore its constantly winking at the audience. It knows that at its core, it has nothing truly original to add. It remedies this not in what they're presenting but, rather, how they present it. The film has its share of heartfelt moments and avoids keeping them sappy by adding an indgredient of oddballness that works. This may not be the deepest, most thought-provoking film made, but it's a light and entertaining way to spend 2 hours.

-Kelvin Cedeno

When I first saw the previews for this movie, I wasn't sold on it completely. It looked funny to me, but it wasn't a 'rush out and see it' kind of movie. When my friends dragged me to see it, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was hilarious and very true to the Disney spirit. It reminded me of the early days of Disney movies. I also loved seeing Julie Andrews return to Disney and in fine form. I grew up watching Mary Poppins repeatedly. The movie is magical and just a good wholesome Disney movie.

-Joshua Parks

DVD Details
With two audio commentaries, two music videos, eight deleted scenes with director's introductions, and a behind-the-scenes featurette, the initial DVD of The Princess Diaries was pretty impressive. Nonetheless, it was rereleased as a two-disc Special Edition August 2004, with a free movie ticket to go see the sequel. The new release also added a sneak peek of The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement and a couple of new featurettes. It contains both widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film and now reduced to $19.99 SRP, it's one of the easiest contemporary live action Disney DVDs to recommend.
Buy The Princess Diaries: 2-Disc Special Edition
Read our The Princess Diaries: Special Edition DVD Review
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